Labor Secretary Thomas Perez at STEM Solutions Conference

On the first day of the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions Conference, Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News, held a one-on-one conversation with Thomas Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, which yielded notable insights.

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  • Perez spoke of apprenticeships and career and technical education as on-ramps to STEM careers; he noted that in Germany where apprenticeships are widely used, unemployment is low. “Businesses need to support and expand apprenticeships,” he said.
  • Labor Secretary Perez said that community colleges provide community-based solutions to employment challenges because of the specific workforce training they provide.
  • The effects of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Labor Secretary said: “For every dollar the Feds invest, there is a yield of $28.”
  • The NEA and AFT in New Jersey are training teachers in STEM.
  • The STEM pipeline needs to be developed in every community if we as a nation are to maintain our global competitiveness.
  • The U.S. has enjoyed 63 months of uninterrupted job growth, but school curriculum needs to be aligned with the needs of employers.

For more information about the 2015 STEM Solutions conference, go to STEM Solutions.